Digital Health Market To Progress With Development Of New System That Can Improve Medical Diagnostics And Treatments

Posted On March 18, 2021     

Digital Health Systems have been steadily increasing through the years because these systems are widely used in technologies like embedded controllers and wearable sensors, enhancing the accessibility to a patient’s medical diagnostics and treatment.  It has been noted that there has an increment in the rate of stroke survivors who need rehabilitation. Thus, healthcare services worldwide are interested in developing technological solutions to enhance assessment and treatment accessibility. However, there are several hurdles such as accuracy, clinical acceptance, cost, and high equipment that need to be overcome before these types of technologies can be termed useful.

A team of researchers designed WISE (Wearable Inertial Sensors for Exergames) to address the aforementioned issues. WISE is a system that provides an animated virtual coach to deliver instruction. It also includes a subject- model whose actions are animated by real-time sensor measurements from the WISE system worn by an individual. This is a great development for Digital Health Market as the study examines WISE’ systems' accuracy and usability. This device is better at adapting to the problems that the medical sector has faced. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this device would be much more relevant.

Researchers stated that the system uses five wearable sensor modules embedded in an individual’s upper body. One is present above the wrist, at both left and right side of the forearms, the other is above the elbow on both sides, and one on the back. All WISE sensors consist of a sensor interfaced, in addition to a microcontroller fused to a printed circuit board. The circuit board is, in turn, connected to a lithium-ion battery. The five WISE system modules are placed in a storage and calibration cube, which is designed, and 3-D printed. Moreover, all the sensors are calibrated before they are placed on a subject. The microcontroller can retrieve absolute orientation measurement from the sensor and wirelessly stream it to a computer. The investigators utilized a Unity3D-based exergame interface in order to animate the data of the sensor in a 3-D model.

The usability of the WISE system was tested by recruiting 17 neurologically intact subjects. They were tasked with performing a series of shoulder to elbow exercises for each arm, in accordance with the instructions given by the animated coach. The ROM measurements received through the WISE system were then compared with those obtained from a system that worked with Microsoft Kinect markerless motion capture system. The result concluded that the WISE system performs as well as Kinect. The research team is not set to further study the system with patient populations in clinical and telerehabilitation settings.

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